Photo Courtesy: The Ana María Archila Campaign
By Victoria Falk
Who is Ana María Archila? The Columbian immigrant migrated to New York when she was 17-years old and dedicated most of her adult life to fighting for the rights of underserved New Yorkers. She gained national attention in 2018 when she confronted former Senator Jeff Flake in a Capitol elevator to protest Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court due to unresolved sexual assault allegations against him. However, outside of her bold stance in the elevator, much more remains to be known about Ms. Archila.
During an exclusive interview with Caribbean American Weekly, Archila spoke candidly about her life, views, and why she wants to be the next Lieutenant Governor for New York.
She shared her values, her view of the role of Lieutenant Governor, and how she plans to use her voice to shape the agenda for the betterment of the people when she is elected to the position. Archila is seeking support for her candidacy and wants New Yorkers to know why she should get their vote in the upcoming primary elections held on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Archila explained that she has a fondness for New York and its people. “New York is the place that welcomed me. New York is where I have lived and worked for almost 20 years. For the last 20 years, I have been a community organizer, building organizations that allow working-class immigrants, Black and Brown communities, to be respected and taken seriously in our democracy,” stated Ana María Archila.
As an immigrant herself, who came to New York without knowing English, she can understand the plight of the immigrant community. “I came, and I had to learn English. I understand first-hand what uprooting means and how difficult it is to find our way in a new place. I have spent most of my adult life inside immigrant communities, hearing the stories of workers whose wages were stolen because they are undocumented. I have listened to the students and parents who cannot communicate with their school, and hearing people who go to the hospital never have the opportunity to consent to the treatment they are given because there is no language access. I’ve also spent a lot of time listening to young people fighting to have the best education they can,” shared Archila. She recognized that although New York is “the immigrant state,” it still holds on to policies that exclude immigrants.
Ana María Archila plans to use her role as Lieutenant Governor for New York to speak up for immigrants’ rights and others whose needs usually get swept aside and go unheard: including women, workers, and the LGBTQ+ community. If elected as the next Lieutenant Governor for New York, Ana María Archila will make history as the first Latina and the first LGBTQ+ statewide official in New York. During the exclusive interview with Caribbean American Weekly, Archila shared that she is running for Lieutenant Governor for New York “…to make sure all New Yorkers can have an affordable home, excellent healthcare, and high-quality education. So that mothers and fathers know that their paychecks will be enough to feed their family and that children have the childcare and more that they need.
I’m running to make sure that immigrant, Black, and Brown workers whose labor carried us through the pandemic are met not just with nice words, but with policies that honor their sacrifice.”
Archila shared with Caribbean American Weekly her dedication and commitment to helping “regular people” and her strength and conviction in wanting to change the way the Lieutenant Governor position is viewed. She discussed several instances where Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin did not speak up when Governor Kathy Hochul was rolling back progress already made. “Governor Hochul chose to leave out the Excluded Worker Fund, which provided support to essential workers who didn’t have access to other support during the pandemic. There will be a huge expansion to childcare, but she wants to leave out undocumented immigrants.” Archila views it a “disgrace” to sit back and say nothing when you know something wrong is being done. “I hope to model a different way of leading and serving New York. The Lieutenant Governor should be an ally in the executive mansion, making sure the needs of regular people are at the conversation,” declared Archila. She sees herself as having the ability to work cooperatively as a partner with whoever is elected the next Governor of New York and to check that person – holding them accountable for their responsibilities to the people.
“I have a lot of executive experience that I bring to the table, which is important because the Lieutenant Governor has to be able to step into the role as Governor if he or she cannot continue their duty,” explained Archila, who helped co-found grassroots organizations. “I helped build Make the Road New York, one of the country’s leading immigrants’ rights organizations, and built the Center for Popular Democracy, where there are affiliates in 33 states and Puerto Rico. I’m ready to build a New York for the many, not the few, and I humbly ask for your support,” declared Archila. She plans to focus on the things she deems priorities to most New Yorkers:
- Affordable housing.
- Affordable and accessible childcare.
- Good wages.
- Access to healthcare.
- Make sure immigrants are included in all the systems of support that are available to the rest of New Yorkers.
Ana María Archila has already received significant endorsements, including from the New York Working Families Party, which asked her to step into the role, from community organizations, and several elected officials. Endorsements include Make the Road Action, Tenants PAC, Community Voices Heard Power, the New York Progressive Action Network, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, NYC Comptroller Brad Landor, multiple City Council Members, and more. Go to www.anaMaríaforny.com if you want to learn more about Archila and support her campaign. Ana María Archila wants New Yorkers to remember to vote her in as the next Lieutenant Governor because, “I will fight for you, and I will use every single day to make sure we are focused on the things New Yorkers really care about.”